About the Author: Hannah Johnson serves as DipNote’s Assistant Editor.
Our “Photo of the Week” comes to us from President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Seoul, South Korea for the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. The Summit, attended by more than 50 world leaders, addressed securing the world’s nuclear weapons and preventing nuclear terrorism. This photograph, taken by White House photographer Pete Souza, shows President Obama talking with U.S. Ambassador to Republic of Korea Sung Kim aboard Marine One during an early morning flight from Osan Air Base to the landing zone at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, Republic of Korea, March 25,… more »
I have so much respect for what she did in the fact that she sacrificed her body for this country… Ehhh. Now let’s move on. What else has she done? Female, wounded veteran … ehhh. She is nothing more than a handpicked Washington bureaucrat.
””My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore.”
I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I’m a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me very uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority: a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up. It’s ironic. The root of the word conservative is “conserve”. A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.”
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.
Scientific estimates differ but the world’s temperature looks set to rise by six degrees Celsius by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to rise uncontrollably. As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.
”This is the critical decade. If we don’t get the curves turned around this decade we will cross those lines,” said Will Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s climate change institute, speaking at a conference in London. Despite this sense of urgency, a new global climate treaty forcing the world’s biggest polluters, such as the United States and China, to curb emissions will only be agreed on by 2015 - to enter into force in 2020.
”We are on the cusp of some big changes,” said Steffen. “We can … cap temperature rise at two degrees, or cross the threshold beyond which the system shifts to a much hotter state.”
The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be more vulnerable to global warming than previously thought. The temperature threshold for melting the ice sheet completely is in the range of 0.8 to 3.2 degrees Celsius global warming, with a best estimate of 1.6 degrees above pre-industrial levels, shows a new study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Today, already 0.8 degrees global warming has been observed. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea-level rise of several meters and therefore it potentially affects the lives of many millions of people.
The time it takes before most of the ice in Greenland is lost strongly depends on the level of warming. “The more we exceed the threshold, the faster it melts,” says Alexander Robinson, lead-author of the study now published in Nature Climate Change. In a business-as-usual scenario of greenhouse-gas emissions, in the long run humanity might be aiming at 8 degrees Celsius of global warming. This would result in one fifth of the ice sheet melting within 500 years and a complete loss in 2000 years, according to the study. “This is not what one would call a rapid collapse,” says Robinson. “However, compared to what has happened in our planet’s history, it is fast. And we might already be approaching the critical threshold.”
Personally, I’d like to see SYG restricted to cases of home invasions, but I’m a little worried that “make things easier for prosecutors!” is becoming the dominant liberal position on self-defense doctrine. Prosecutors are already at a tremendous advantage in our justice system.
Not knowing much about Florida law, I’m still sure that chasing down an unarmed person and shooting him doesn’t count as “standing your ground.” It’s the opposite of standing your ground. It’s violent aggression. That Sanford’s police department decided there was no case to made says more about their competence than it does about Florida law.
” Climate change is already evident in Europe. Across the continent, policy makers are starting to respond to current and future impacts and risks associated with rising temperatures, changing precipitation, melting glaciers, ice and snow, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense floods and droughts.
To help respond to these challenges, the Climate-ADAPT website was developed by the European Commission and will be managed by the Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is aimed at policy makers and ‘practitioners’ – engineers, planners and administrators – who can learn from the experience of others facing similar challenges and already carrying out adaptation actions elsewhere.
Climate-ADAPT is the most comprehensive website for information on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Europe. Adaptation means anticipating the effects of climate change and taking action to prevent or minimise damage or exploit opportunities. In many cases, early action will save money because the costs of failing to adapt are likely to be very high.”
An undated photo of Trayvon Martin Courtesy Martin family
On the evening of February 26, Trayvon Martin—an unarmed 17-year-old African American student—was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a Latino neighborhood watch captain in the Orlando, Florida, suburb of Sanford. Zimmerman has not been charged with a crime. Since Martin’s death and the release of more details, the case has garnered national media attention and sparked a host of public debates over racial tensions, vigilantism, police practices, and gun laws.
Read on for our primer, or jump to these latest updates:
“Some birds are adjusting their migration patterns and adapting to climate change better than others, researchers found.
A study of bird flight patterns found that while some shift their migration as much as six days earlier in warmer weather, others are keeping the same habits, according to a report in the Public Library of Science.
Birds that aren’t adapting, like the Barn Swallow, could be threatened if the crop of insects they feed on aren’t available at the same time, for example, said Allen Hurlbert, the lead author, in a telephone interview.
“This is a new threat,” said Hurlbert, an assistant professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It’s an additional risk factor for the health of their population.”
Hurlbert’s study of 18 bird species is the first to examine the entire Eastern United States, he said. It’s also unique in using citizen bird watching data from more than 50,000 people logging into eBird, an online site created in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audobon Society.
On average, the birds shifted their migration almost a day earlier for every Celsius degree of warming spring temperature. Species that fail could be eliminated through natural selection.”
So Now We Can't Protest About ANOTHER Country on our Own Soil?
George Clooney arrested in D.C. outside Sudan embassy
By Aaron Leitko and James Buck
George Clooney, Martin Luther King III, several members of Congress and other activists were arrested by the U.S. Secret Service and taken away in plastic handcuffs outside the Sudan embassy on Massachusetts Avenue Friday morning.
The group was protesting the Sudanese hunger crisis, accusing President Omar al-Bashir of blocking food and humanitarian assistance from reaching hundreds of thousands of Sudanese.
View Photo Gallery: A group of civic leaders, along with actor George Clooney, speak out about the humanitarian crisis faced by Sudanese before being arrested outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington.
The protest began when Clooney, accompanied by his father, Nick, and other speakers, marched to the embassy from the Religious Action Center a few blocks away and then launched into a series of quick speeches about the Sudanese humanitarian crisis.
George Clooney arrives at the embassy of Sudan on Friday. (Aaron Leitko - The Washington Post)
“Our destinies are tied together,” King said to those assembled. “This crisis is beyond epidemic proportions.”
Clooney said, “We need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”
Protesters then made their way to the embassy lawn, where Secret Service officers told them that they must leave or face arrest. After the third warning, officers told the group they were under arrest, and the protesters lined up to be handcuffed and led into a waiting van.
Clooney, dressed in jeans and zip-up sweater, seemed jovial and at ease throughout the arrest, which was clearly orchestrated in advance.
Plans for the nonviolent protest had been announced Thursday in a statement from Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). Moran was also arrested during the protest on Friday.
Actor George Clooney stopped by the White House on Thursday to help bring attention to the plight of the people in south Sudan, a cause the Hollywood heavyweight has championed for years.
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Clooney, who arrived back from a tour of that region two days ago, lobbied lawmakers on Capitol Hill and mingled at the White House’s state dinner Wednesday for British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Coming out after his briefing to talk with reporters, Clooney set off a bit of media scrum as the White House press corps jostled to get a spot near the stake-out microphone set up on the West Wing side of the North Lawn.
Clooney said he pressed the president to push China to help force the Sudanese government to open the southern region to relief efforts to help get food to large swaths of people, who otherwise could face potential starvation with the upcoming rainy season.
“What is most striking and most devastating is the absolute vulnerability of a certain group of people,” Clooney said. John Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, a human rights project, accompanied Clooney.
Clooney said Obama promised to push Chinese President Hu Jintao on the issue at an upcoming bilateral meeting. Asked whether he’s had difficulty raising money for the cause, Clooney replied: “No question there’s donor fatigue. There is misery fatigue. People turn on the news and see an awful lot of bad stories. … On the other hand, having traveled the world and tried to raise money in other parts of the world, this is still the most generous country in the world and truly the most compassionate.”
The actor said he has not yet seen the Kony2012 video that has gone viral on YouTube in an attempt to bring attention to Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony’s abuse of children. Clooney, who was in Sudan when the video gained fame, is seen in a clip and he said he supports the effort.
But he couldn’t escape a more pressing political question at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Asked about Obama’s chances for re-election, Clooney, who has donated money to his campaign, said: “I hope they’re very good. I’m a Democrat and a supporter of the president. I hope he has a successful election.”